While fireworks are used as part of many days of celebration, especially Independence Day and New Years, it is important to remember that fireworks can be dangerous if not handled properly.
Fireworks-related injuries dropped from 161 in 2014 to 137 reported injuries in 2015. While instances of traumatic amputation dropped from ten to two, more injuries required burn center treatment or surgery than in 2014. Injuries to hands were involved in 70% of cases in which the injured party was lighting or operating fireworks, while injuries to the head or eyes occurred in nearly 60% of cases involving bystanders.
“While shooting your own fireworks can be a thrill, they can also cause serious injuries and fires if not handled properly,” says Doug Jorgensen, Fire Marshal for the State of Kansas. “The safest approach to enjoying fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays conducted by trained professionals who know how to properly handle fireworks. We want all our Kansas kids to enjoy this Summer’s fun and festivities as safely as possible.”
To help the public celebrate safely, the Office of the State Fire Marshal offers the following tips for the safe use of fireworks:
- Always purchase high quality fireworks from reliable and legitimate sources
- Always read and follow label directions
- Have an adult supervise all fireworks activities
- Always ignite fireworks outdoors
- Have water nearby
- Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks
- Light only one firework at a time
- Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks
- Never give fireworks to small children
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place
- Dispose of fireworks properly
- Never throw fireworks at another person
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket
- Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers
In addition, bottle rockets and M80s are dangerous and illegal in the state of Kansas. The use or sale of these banned fireworks is considered a crime under Kansas law.